incensed by London, Doha threatens to withdraw British investment

Relations between London and Doha have suddenly become strained in recent days. After weeks of British media criticism of the World Cup in Qatar, which resulted in the emirate’s advertising being banned from London’s Tube and buses, authorities in the emirate are threatening to withdraw their investment from the British capital. The information was revealed on Friday, November 25 by Financial Times and confirmed at World by a source close to the Doha leaders. “The Qataris have decided to review their investments in London. They maintain good relations with the British Conservative government, but they will redirect their investments to other cities in the kingdom.says this source.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers In Qatar, a very political “World Cup”

The straw that broke the camel’s back came from Transport for London (TfL), the British capital’s public transport authority. Since 2019, at the request of Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London who chairs it, it is supposed to ban advertising from countries that impose the death penalty for homosexuality. Qatar is – along with ten other states – on the list referred to by the London authorities. In fact, there were regular advertisements for the emirate on the Underground and on London buses.

But due to “increased sensitivity” of public opinion on the issue of LGBT+ in Qatar, particularly after the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) refused to wear an armband calling for anti-discrimination at the request of several European teams, TfL has tightened the application of this rule. WC advertisements are allowed, “so fans don’t miss the opportunity to support their team”but not those that encourage tourism in Qatar.

Critics instead of the opening ceremony

asked by The world, Qatari authorities have formally denied that homosexuality is punishable by death in their country. According to a recent report by human rights NGO Human Rights Watch, Qatar’s penal code punishes extramarital affairs, including same-sex relations, with a maximum of seven years in prison.

Officials in the emirate regret the British media’s treatment of Mondial, which they perceive as a deliberate smear campaign. The BBC, which holds the rights to part of the matches, did not broadcast the opening ceremony on its main channel (BBC1). It was not a boycott per se, as the celebrations were available on its website or on its secondary channels, but it was a way of distancing itself from the event.

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